20160828, 09:21 – Visual continuity edit. This scene was a ton of work the first time around, and at the time the fact that Jason’s scripted background required an additional 3d asset was too much to deal with so I did the scene with a placeholder. That gritty industrial backdrop is still in there, persisting as barely visible gritty-shitty window glass over the intended background – a nice blurry shot of obfuscated plot-critical infrastructure. I needed the background asset for a shot in the final scene of the chapter and figured I’d get Jason’s cameo displaying as intended before I start work on it. The big splattery texturez rain on the plate glass really brings the scene together!

This is the third of three visual continuity edits required to make the final scene of the chapter match up with the rest of the comic. The first was a full re-rendering of the cargo bay, and the second was a full re-rendering of every appearance of the QAR. Now that the third is complete I can finish rendering the final scene, and get on to drawing it!


2016 opens with a PLOT BOMB. One that spent most of 2015 whistling through the air – while James has been talking about his end of it since page one of the chapter, how that relates to what Jason is reporting on hasn’t been talked about much – at least, not recently, though the “wormhole” mentioned on this page has been hinted at in 2012, several thousand plot-years ago and something like five hundred pages back if you’re reading from the beginning.

The fact that ETL has a “controlling interest” in the Templar isn’t mentioned in dialogue. It’s on the UNN ticker, which reads “BREAKING: ETL LEAVING HRAZNY MRDAT” in panel one and “BREAKING: ETL LEAVING HRAZNY MRDAT, PARAMILITARY RESERVES CALLED UP” in panel three.

The entire first third of the chapter – which I suppose wraps with this page in dialogue and the next in action – is what came about when it became obvious that it was time to throw everything at the wall. The story has been tip-toeing around key events for its entire run – being characteristically oblique, obtuse, and indirect about what’s going on behind the scenes when it’s willing to admit there’s a behind the scenes at all. That ends here. Now we know where things are going. The rest of the chapter will be spent getting there.

I love it when a plot comes together.


The script and layouts feature a detail behind Jason that is not present in the final shots. The omission of the detail wasn’t intentional – chapter production has taken so long to get to this point that I plumb forgot about it until earlier this week, and didn’t bother to think about what the missing detail meant for the story and for production until todays afternoon walk. I’ve decided it’s a good thing – the detail in question works naturally into the next book, which lets me push off a bit of production modeling to near the end of the chapter, and allows for visual clues and foreshadowing to be built up in a much more timely fashion. Leaving things as they are allows me to NOT PANIC, and allows for this scene to have a clean and clear focus on Whitehouse without any extraneous details – without any red herrings. Leaving things as they are also, importantly, allows for the page to be posted today – January first, 2016 – which gets this year off to a good start.

Line art for the next two pages is complete; they need to be shaded and the next page needs six screens of user interface design that don’t exist yet. I expect those pages to be completed and posted in mid to late January – I could probably roll on them now but finishing the work that paid January’s rent is a higher priority at this point!


Mastering notes, 2016.12.07 – Wormhole timing adjusted.

Cast

  • John West

    The first extraterrestrial human to be born on Terra. Home-schooled by Templar, he left the organization in 1997 citing management issues and took the Daedalus with him. John is an incredibly talented Navigator, having...

  • Jason Whitehouse

    The king of social engineering, the crown prince of noise, and a self-described “Post-American Electro-Snob.” Jason has a deep interest in industrial, electronic, ambient, metal and gothic music, and a well-researched interest in radio...

Glossary Articles

  • Am

    Am is the colloquial (and technically incorrect) term for a “condensed” quad-axial space, accessible by certain life forms and organic technologies. Am is a form of “hyperspace,” in which travel and communication circumvent general...